‘We look a bigger side’ – Lambert on his new-look Ipswich team
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town host fellow Championship relegation-battlers Rotherham United at Portman Road this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the action.
Paul Lambert has told Ipswich Town fans they will see a different side today.
The Blues boss could hand out up to five league debuts for this proverbial relegation ‘six-pointer’ against fourth-bottom Rotherham.
Centre-back James Collins (free agent), left-back Callum Elder (Leicester City, loan), strikers Collin Quaner (Huddersfield, loan) and Will Keane (Hull City, loan), as well as winger Simon Dawkins (free agent) have all been added to the squad.
In addition, midfield duo Cole Skuse and Emyr Huws are both in contention again after injury.
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“We’ll be a different team,” said Lambert. “We’re going to be a lot more physical than what we have been. And we have players in now who know this league as well as the league above.
“Some of the lads had been playing in League Two and had bypassed League One to play at this level. That’s like someone from League One going into the Premier League. That jump is high.
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“They’ve given us everything they’ve got but in my opinion we needed a little bit more strength for the division. We look a bigger side.”
With all of his new signings short of match fitness – they have just four starts between them this season – does Lambert think a new-look team can hit the ground running?
“We’ll try – that’s the difficulty of it,” he replied. “We had to change something and had to look at another avenue.”
Town are 10 points adrift at the foot of the Championship table following the New Year’s Day 3-2 home defeat to Millwall and out of the FA Cup following last weekend’s 1-0 loss at League One side Accrington Stanley.
“I looked at something that had the ‘five shocks of the FA Cup third round’ and Ipswich weren’t in it,” said Lambert. “Was it a shock? No, it wasn’t.
“It just showed me that the club needs rebuilding. My job is to sort it out. We will sort this out but sometimes you have to go through a little bit of pain before.”
Rotherham were thrashed 7-0 at Manchester City in the FA Cup last weekend. They are currently on a 38 game winnless streak away from home in the Championship (D7 L31 F25 A93).
“If we win, we’ll be right in it,” said Lambert. “If we play the way we can and keep doing what we’re doing and cut out the errors then we’ll be fine.”
Collin Quaner – 6ft 3in
Will Keane – 6ft 2in
James Collins – 6ft 2in
Cole Skuse – 6ft
Callum Elder – 5ft 11in
Emyr Huws – 5ft 10in
Simon Dawkins – 5ft 10in
38 – Games without a Championship away win for Rotherham
3 – Home wins for Town since start of 2018 (D11 L10 F19 A33)
310 – Town’s five new signings have played a combined total of 310 minutes of competitive football in 18/19
Last five finishes: 4th (League One), 24th, 21st, 21st (all Championship), 4th (League One)
Manager: Paul Warne (Nov ‘16): P113 W38 D23 L52
Last game: L 7-0 Man City (a) FA Cup
Away league form: P13 W0 D4 L9 F8 A24
Last 10: LWLLL DDLDD
Margins of victory: 1 (x5), 2 (x1)
Margins of defeat: 1 (x5), 2 (x5), 3+ (x3)
Top-scorers: 6: Vaulks; 5: Smith; 4: Manning, Proctor
Most league starts: 26: Rodak, Ajayi, Mattock; 25: Smith, Vaulks; 22: Williams
Rotherham Utd 1 Ipswich Town 0
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018
Michael Smith slammed home a fine finish in the 90th minute after Town failed to deal with a crossed free-kick.
It was hard to take after the Blues dominated possession, produced 16 shots, had two major penalty appeals waved away and forced 12 corners.
Ipswich Town 2 Rotherham Utd 1
New-look Ipswich to get by on adrenaline.